MySpace urged to combat online child abuse

23rd May 2007 | 23:00

MySpace urged to combat online child abuse

Handing over child sex maniac details 'not enough'

MySpace needs to do more to protect its users from predatory sex offenders, an FBI consultant said today. After the sites owners handed over the names of known sex offenders it had had to remove from the social networking service, it has been told that this is not enough.

"Releasing the names of registered sex offenders is only a first step for MySpace in ensuring the safety of children on their site," said author R. Stephanie Good, who consults with the FBI in the US to combat online child abuse.

"As someone who spends a lot of time communicating with sexual predators on the internet for the FBI, I have to stress that so much more needs to be done to adequately protect children on sites such as these.

"Without more safeguards, children will remain extremely vulnerable, especially to those predators who have yet to be caught.

Thousands of MySpace accounts removed

"As for those registered sex offenders who have been identified on MySpace, I encourage attorneys general to actively pursue criminal charges."

Earlier this week, MySpace agreed to hand over information to US attorney's about sex offenders who had been using the social networking site. A week before that, MySpace deleted the accounts of thousands of these convicted sex offenders including rapists and paedophiles.

Originally, MySpace refused to hand over information about these users, citing federal privacy laws. But now the site, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, says it will hand over the relevant information to attorney generals in a number of US states.

Some paedophiles pose as young people to 'groom' children online. They won't be affected by the cull since they're not using their real identities.

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